OBJECTIVE: We assessed the frequency of emergency department (ED) HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) screening in a high-risk cohort of ED patients with untreated opioid use disorder (OUD).
METHODS: This analysis used data from a prospective, observational study of English-speaking adults with untreated OUD enrolled from April 2017 to December 2018 in 4 urban, academic EDs. Two cohorts were defined for this analysis by self-reported negative/unknown status for HIV (cohort 1) and HCV (cohort 2). Sites featured structured screening programs throughout the entire enrollment period for HIV and during at least part of the enrollment period for HCV. We calculated the proportion tested for HIV and HCV during the study enrollment ED visit.
RESULTS: Among 394 evaluated ED patients, 328 of 394 (83.2%) were not tested for HIV or HCV and 244 of 393 (62.1%) lacked a usual medical care provider. In cohort 1, 375 reported negative or unknown HIV status; 59/375 (15.7%) overall and 33/218 (15.1%) of those reporting recent injection drug use were tested for HIV. In cohort 2, 231 reported negative of unknown HCV status; 22/231 (9.5%) overall and 9/98 (9.2%) of those reporting recent injection drug use were tested for HCV. The proportion tested by the ED ranged from 3% to 25% for HIV and 4% to 32% for HCV across study sites.
CONCLUSIONS: Emergency department HIV and HCV screening remains infrequent among patients with untreated OUD, including those who inject drugs, even in EDs committed to screening. Targeted HIV/HCV screening should be considered as an adjunct strategy until the ideal of universal screening is more fully achieved.
Missed opportunities for HIV and hepatitis C screening among emergency department patients with untreated opioid use disorder
Journal of Addiction Medicine [Epub 2022 Sep 28]. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000001074.